US companies dilute proposed legislation that might have dampened their exports to/sales in China of technology. 2018 China Enterprise Cross-Border M&A Special Report shows decline in both the number and volume of Chinese merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in 2017. China’s crackdown on CEFC Energy throws into uncertainty a proposed mega investment in Russia’s Rosneft. Japanese may loosen regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI) in Japanese broadcasters. Toshiba chip sale deal awaits regulatory approval from China. South Korea company wins multi-billion bridge building contract in Turkey. South Korea and Russian companies lay foundation for cooperation in building transportation and other infrastructure for Korean peninsula and elsewhere. Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry to sue American mining company Freeport McMoRan for massive environmental damages. Indonesian official embark on road show to bring more private FDI into the country’s underfunded infrastructure projects. Thai government alarms by announcing intention to change the country’s Foreign Business Act. Malaysia finalizes deal bringing USD $7 billion of Saudi FDI into the Pengerang Integrated Complex. UAE company will pour more than USD $1 billion to develop offshore Malaysian gas site. Vietnam’s State Audit Office slaps back taxes bill on just privatized former state-owned enterprises (SOE) Sabeco. Vietnam aims to divest major portion of PetroVietnam Gas to garner strategic investment and massive amounts of funds.
China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reports small growth in inward foreign direct investment (FDI), albeit with significant growth in high-tech inward FDI (IFDI). United States (US) President Donald Trump likely to impose USD $60 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods to punish Beijing for forcing American companies to transfer technology. China's financing for Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) energy projects slows significantly in 2017. Chinese report that BRI projects are delivering living standard and work improvements to locals. Panasonic starts mass production of hybrid car batteries in China as Beijing's push for electric vehicles is expected to boost demand. JFTC raids Amazon's Japanese headquarters over suspicions that online retailing giant violated anti-trust regulations. Two Korean builders win order for a USD $740 million smart hospital project in Singapore. Kumho workers stage strike in protest of foreign ownership as Qingdao Doublestar acquires struggling South Korean tire company. Jokowi states that survey reveals that Indonesia ranks second when it comes to the world's attractive countries for investors. China has stated its intent to help fund and build what could become Indonesia's longest bridge. Honeywell repeats commitment to bring investment to and cooperate with Thailand given its plans fit the government's Thailand 4.0 vision. Mercedes-Benz and Thai JV partner to invest $123 million to build EV batteries in Thailand. Vietnamese authorities to review large foreign investment projects in the wake of withdrawal of USD $3.2 billion refinery and petrochemical project. Binh Duong province (Vietnam) grants 15 investment certificates for foreign firms investing in the region.
Following the Mercedes-Benz Dalai Lama ad incident, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks foreign firms to follow "basic ground rules." China Banking Regulatory Commission promises steps to make it easier for foreign banks to do renminbi business in China. Google China works to win friends by searching for information about Chinese overseas investment opportunities and overseas brand successes. China's capital control have adversely impacted some Chinese investing in the technology sector in the United States. Nissan to invest USD $9.5 billion in China with JV partner Dongfeng Group as carmaker strives to exploit China's production quotas for EVs. MGM Resorts plans to set up integrated resort in Japan's Osaka Prefecture because it plans to establish tourism facilities. Hyundai finally on track to receive Chinese government subsidy for EVs after switching to Chinese battery manufacturers. Seoul Semiconductor files suit against Mouser Electronics for dispensing products that infringe upon patent held by it. Indonesia's investment board cites "frequent and abrupt changes in regulations" as major cause of foreign investor wariness when investing in Indonesia. UAE business delegation met with Indonesia's Industry Minister for preliminary talks for producing compressed natural gas in Indonesia. Thailand's parliament approves USD $45 billion EEC project to stimulate country's underdeveloped east. Nissan working with alliance partner Mitsubishi and Bangkok to produce electric cars and batteries in Thailand for export abroad. Malaysia expects more Chinese investment in real estate, manufacturing and logistics industries as Belt and Road Initiative funds find their way into the country. State run Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas are raising USD $8 billion to begin construction on planned Malaysia refinery and petrochemical complex. Edge Glass Joint Stock Company begins construction of USD $220 million Vietnam glass factory encouraged by favorable local government measures. US tax reforms causes Vietnam to worry about future foreign investment prospects.
The long-standing debate about Chinese neocolonialism has been reborn as a result of China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Chinese multinational companies (MNCs) taking over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port and leasing a huge plot of land in Colombo Port. Adding fuel to the fire, the contemporary features of China’s relations with many developing countries bears general resemblance to those of the Europeans in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Great Game was a geopolitical contest for influence and dominance in Central Asia between Tsarist Russia and the British Empire that occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The game was played out over vast distances, with a mix of spies, money and armies.
Chinese drug approval authorities likely to approve several blockbuster foreign drugs in 2018. Hyundai Motor Group faces declining sales growth in 2018 in large part due to political and economic challenges in China. China State-Owned Assets Supervision and Advisory Commission (SASAC) to issue new guidelines to improve behavior of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in various areas. United States (US) Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concerns leads China’s Ant Financial and US MoneyGram to terminate the former’s acquisition of the latter. Japan’s Toshiba Corp sells floundering US nuclear business Westinghouse, which went bankrupt after regulations and other factors stalled many of its projects, to Canada’s Brookfield. US legal process for Takata Corp.’s US unit coming to completion, which should allow company to make payouts to claimants who suffered from Takata’s faulty airbags. Korea urges US policy makers to reconsider the US International Trade Commission's recommended special tariff on imported Korean washers. Lotte Group struggling to shed its politically troubled Chinese hypermarket chain after talks with Thai conglomerate failed to produce agreeable sale price. Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pentamina took back control of Indonesia’s largest oil and gas block helping Jakarta to expand its control over domestic energy production. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board launches several measures to spur 10 to 14 percent year on year growth in FDI. Thailand’s Board of Investment expects FDI into its EEC to continue to grow as new EEC policies are implemented and foreign companies become familiar with EEC requirements. Chinese FDI into Malaysia is expected to move out of infrastructure and property development and into new sectors due to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Japanese Ambassador touts that Japanese firms have a good chance to win Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has set a new deadline for long delayed Chinese-funded Cat Linh rail project
One factor that has allowed China to expand its global role has been financial diplomacy in the form of loans, business deals and other investments. However, in overlooking issues such as public discontent with dictatorships, corruption and economic mismanagement, Chinese companies have also assumed considerable risk.
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang promises significantly better environment for foreign investors. Lego pieces together blocks of winning copyright case in China. Sinopec USA fires up lawsuit against Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman describes Sinopec USA lawsuit against PDVSA as a normal commercial dispute and cautions against blowing things out of proportion. Nissan files charges in international arbitration court against Indian government for reneging on promised tax breaks. Melco vowed to build headquarters in Japan if it were to be approved casino license following country’s recent legalization of casinos. Improving Sino-Korean political relations giving hope to LG Display that its planned Chinese production facility will finally be approved by Seoul. SK Engineering & Construction to build and run hydropower plant in Pakistan, the first such project for a South Korean company in the country, before returning control to Islamabad. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group expected to invest at least USD $1.8 billion in PT Bank Danamon Indonesia and will work closely to meet Jakarta’s regulatory requirements. Jakarta to buy Rio Tinto’s 40 percent stake in Freeport-McMoRan operated Grasberg mine as part of its efforts to gain control of country’s natural resources. Bangkok considering new non-tariff barriers to EVs in anticipation of increased imports of Chinese EVs resulting from ASEAN-China FTA. Thailand’s CT Bright has joined with China’s HNA Group to set up an investment fund for Thailand’s EEC. Kuala Lumpur making new efforts to promote investment in automation and smart manufacturing. Malaysia’s Prime Minister calls on foreign businesses to renew investment in the country. Hanoi grants investment certificate to Sumitomo Corporation for USD $2.58 billion thermal power plant in Vietnam’s Van Phong Economic Zone.
The recently released World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) rankings have interesting findings relating to some of the countries involved in China’s Belt-and-Road (BRI) infrastructure project. One of the major groups of countries to have improved EODB rankings since last year is Central Asia. Kazakhstan (+1.06), Azerbaijan (+3.12), Uzbekistan (+4.46), Ukraine (+1.90), Kyrgyz Republic (+0.54) and Tajikistan (0.93) have all moved up the EODB ladder.
On November 18 and 19, 2017, the "Political Economy of China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI), Africa, and the Middle East" conference was held in Shanghai, China. The conference, orchestrated and co-sponsored by the Mr. & Mrs. S.H.